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Stabroek News

Jamaica must modernise
published: Thursday | November 8, 2007

The Editor, Sir:

Letter-writer Carlos King suggests that gays cannot be accepted into mainstream society unless that society abandons its Judeo-Christian principles. This is a feeble argument, at best.

In every generation conservatives have argued that the maligned group of the day cannot co-exist with religious faith. So it was with Catholics, Jews, blacks and women, and so it now is with homosexuals.

The truth, however, is that religion is malleable and changeable by social context. Most of us no longer stone women or sell our children into slavery, as condoned in scripture. We no longer enforce arcane dietary rules with the force of capital law. And we no longer believe that if God had intended people of the same race to marry, He'd have put them on the same continents to begin with. At least most of us don't.

Homosexuality

Mr. King should also remember that the debate over homosexuality reflects terribly on Jamaica. He contends that Jamaicans have shown themselves to be a tolerant people - tolerating, if only barely, the existence of homosexuals in their country. In fact, the rest of the world has looked on Jamaica's treatment of gays with horror for years now. To us it seems barbaric and primordial. And in countries like Canada, where Jamaican communities already struggle to overcome reputations for gun violence and drug addiction, it actually undermines liberal multiculturalism.

Jamaica must change its laws and modernise its society. Out here in the world we all know that, and folks like Mr. King will just have to be dragged along with the awesome force of history.

I am, etc.,

BRADLEY MILLER

bj.miller@utoronto.ca

Via Go-Jamaica

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